Monday was a rather busy day, and I had a lot planned. First on my list was to go to the Pavillion which is like a YMCA/community fitness center equipped with a pool, a variety of classes, and a fitness room. When I signed up to join last year, I mainly went for the pool, so I could do pool running in place of my land runs.
I officially started going back there last week, mainly because I wanted to cross train which is kind of ironic, because I find most stationary equipment incredibly boring. However, since something happens with my right knee after I hit a certain amount of time into my runs, I figured it would be good to give my 'ole body a little break on hard surfaces.
I've never had any problems going to the Pavillion. It's a mixed crowd there with a variety of ages and sizes. Everyone is mostly doing their own thing, so I felt fairly comfortable going. Monday morning was a different story. I decided to test myself on the dreadmill aka treadmill. This is in itself a feat, as I find myself counting the seconds until the time is up.
I got on the machine, set the workout, and started running. To the left of me, there was a woman probably 20? or so years older than me walking. Yes, I noticed how thin she was and the fact that she was wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt. It really didn't help that she lifted her arms a couple of times either so her shirt rose. I overheard her talk to another girl who asked how much longer she was going to be on there. Her reply "another hour or so." No clue how long she was on there previously to me getting there, but the "another" implicates maybe she had been on there for awhile perhaps.
Though I found this all a little disturbing, what bothered me more was that she kept looking over at me. I don't know what she was looking at--my time, my distance, my speed, my pretty, sweaty face? She did this a number of times during my workout, and it left me feeling very UNCOMFORTABLE. I don't know if there was a hidden competitiveness, intrigue, or what. But I wanted to shout, "Look lady, keep your eyes off me and my machine." And I am rarely the type to ever even consider saying something like that to someone.
As soon as my run was over, I stepped off that machine and finished the rest of my workout on the elliptical, sighing in relief. This was just an odd experience for me. I have never been a gym rat type of person and have always minded my own business. Certainly, I notice how long people might be on a machine as I'm sure other people might have of me, but I don't constantly look at them or feel competitive with them. Maybe it is one reason why I just don't do gyms--always afraid of being "measured up."
How do those of you who to gyms handle this? Does this bother you?